Friday, December 09, 2005

How Many Are Missing and Dead After Katrina? Three Months After the Hurricane, the Numbers are Still Unknown

On Democracy Now via lecolonelchabert

To discuss this, we're joined in Atlanta by Leah Hodges, yes, who testified in Washington at the hearing on Katrina, former resident of New Orleans, living in Atlanta right now. She is still missing her brother. We're also joined in our New York studio by Tina Susman, who is a reporter with Newsday. She recently returned to New Orleans. Her article, “Looking for the Lost: The Search for Children Scattered by Katrina” appeared in Sunday's newspaper. We welcome you both to Democracy Now!

TINA SUSMAN: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Let's begin with Leah. What do you know about your brother?

LEAH HODGES: I know that my brother has not been heard from or seen since the hurricane. We have examined lists from FEMA, Red Cross. He has not appeared on any list anywhere. I even inquired of FEMA to determine if, perhaps, he had applied for assistance. And FEMA is not authorized to give information on other applicants, but they did rule out his having applied for assistance with them. A company contacted me and my mother and other members of my family, seeking DNA samples. Well, it broke my heart, and I'm still holding out hope. I know this about my brother, from a child, I know that he was an excellent swimmer, but what I do not know is whether or not he could possibly be one of the shooting victims at the hands of military or police authorities during that catastrophe.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, when did you last talk to him, and when is the last time his whereabouts were known?

LEAH HODGES: The last time his whereabouts were known was just before the storm. He was in New Orleans. I had seen him fairly recently. There were times when he would visit with me, and he would stay overnight. My brother is an excellent musician. He is a drummer and a bassist, and he likes to play the blues on acoustic guitar. He does have a medical condition that is a matter of concern.

Also, my young nephew, little Lawrence Andrews and his sisters, they were with their maternal grandmother, and they were in a low-lying area of New Orleans East, an area where it has been reported that two schools containing over 2,000 people each were flooded upon the breakage of the levee system. The water rose so fast and with such great force, it is my understanding that the people were flushed out of those two buildings, and there were some drownings. So, my brother, Carl Hodges, and my nephew, little Lawrence Andrews, who is a straight-A student in school, have not been heard from since the storm. We have not located them on any missing lists. more.


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